These Are Our Best Tips To Make Embutido

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Did you know that the embutido from Spain is actually cured, dry sausages? This is nothing like the double-cooked ground meat log that we call embutido that we enjoy every Christmas. 

The embutido is a classic Christmas dish that we love! It's a delicious ground meat mixture that is seasoned, steamed, and usually fried until golden brown to make it look super delicious. The ingredients added are usually what makes the dish so tasty. 

So, when you make it, you have to remember that this is a recipe that takes some time to make since embutido needs to be steamed, chilled, and ideally, fried to get that delicious crust on the outside. 

If you are having problems making your embutido, here are answers to your questions about making and cooking embutido: 

1 How do you prevent the color of the red hot dog from staining? 

If you use red hot dogs for your embutido, then you might have noticed that it usually stains the rest of the embutido. That's not appetizing. To minimize this, soak the hot dogs in hot water first to wash away any excess red dye from the casing and the hot dog itself.


If you use hot dogs that aren't dyed red, you can totally skip this step.  

2 Why is my embutido pale? 

Embutido rarely looks good fresh from the steamer. That's because steamed meat has little to no color! In fact, it looks pale and not so appetizing which is why embutido and other steamed food are commonly fried to give it that golden brown and delicious look! 

So, if you see that your embutido is pale and not so appetizing yet, remember that taste is just as important as its looks and that you can make it look better once it's been fried. 

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The best embutido is one that looks and tastes delicious.
Photo by Majoy Siason

3 Why is my embutido crumbly? 

You have cooked your embutido and discover that when you try to slice it, it easily falls apart. Even when chilled, the meat just doesn't hold together.

There are two reasons this happened: you didn't add enough of a binder or you didn't roll the embutido tight enough. 

If you used eggs, you should have used enough eggs to keep the meat together. A binder such as eggs is important because it's what will keep the meat together as well as keep it moist while it's cooking. Here's a quick radio: for every 1 kilo ground meat you are using, add at least 2 to 3 large eggs. You'll be able to tell if you need that third egg because of the other ingredients you'll add. 

4 Why is my embutido pink on the inside? 

You see pink when you slice into the embutido and immediately you think it's not cooked enough. That might be true but in some cases, if you're sure you cooked the embutido properly and safely, rest assured that it might just be a chemical reaction that you can't control. 


Two reasons can be the cause: the meat and the vegetables you added to the ground meat. 

The heat of the oven can be one reason the meat is still pink. It's not about the temperature but rather how the meat reacted when exposed to the heat. The myoglobin, the same plasma that makes you think your medium-cooked steak is "bleeding", turns red when exposed to oxygen in the air and is responsible for the pink color of meat. This is what can stay pink even when heated to food-safe temperatures.

Vegetables such as onions, garlic, and celery could be another reason why the meat is still pink. That's because these vegetables naturally contain nitrates which cause a reaction between the nitrite in the vegetables and myoglobin that keeps bacon, ham, and other meat to stay pink when cured. 

5 How long can embutido last? 

If you're trying to plan ahead, the embutido is a great recipe to put on your menu. That's because embutido can stay frozen for as long as you need it to be. Since the cooking is done and it needs to be chilled anyway, it's the ideal food to cook and store for a rainy day. The freezer is a fantastic way to make your meals days, weeks, or even months ahead since meat, when frozen completely and properly, can last for months


If you're still trying to perfect your embutido recipe, here are articles to read on how to master the dish plus ideas on what to make when you decide to make it your next food business. 


Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on by submitting your recipe here.

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